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Wind energy month: What does that mean?

It suggests a welcoming atmosphere for the industrial wind developers who are gauging the state's appetite for wind towers on our ridgelines.

That's not the intent of the proclamation, according to Jason Gibbs, the governor's spokesman. It's about promoting renewable energy in general, and small wind power projects specifically -- on "a Vermont scale."

Gov. Jim Douglas is proclaiming October "wind energy month" in Vermont.

It suggests a welcoming atmosphere for the industrial wind developers who are gauging the state's appetite for wind towers on our ridgelines.

That's not the intent of the proclamation, according to Jason Gibbs, the governor's spokesman. It's about promoting renewable energy in general, and small wind power projects specifically -- on "a Vermont scale."

"It will not be an endorsement of commercial, industrial wind development along Vermont's ridgelines," he said.

"The governor is not enthusiastic about developing acres and acres of Vermont's most beautiful ridgelines with industrial wind turbines and the attendant clear-cutting of transmission swaths required to move the power from the top of the mountain to transfer stations," Gibbs said Thursday.

It is reasonable and responsible for Vermont to pursue renewable energy, including small, "Vermont-scale" wind projects that don't desecrate the state's environment. The concern is that our ridgelines will become high-elevation utility plants with 300- and 400-foot tall turbines.

Perhaps the governor should designate special days of "wind energy month" for each of the mountains that is being prospected by wind developers to show Vermonters what is being proposed for ridgelines from the Northeast Kingdom to the Green Mountain National Forest.

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Gov. Jim Douglas is proclaiming October "wind energy month" in Vermont.

It suggests a welcoming atmosphere for the industrial wind developers who are gauging the state's appetite for wind towers on our ridgelines.

That's not the intent of the proclamation, according to Jason Gibbs, the governor's spokesman. It's about promoting renewable energy in general, and small wind power projects specifically -- on "a Vermont scale."

"It will not be an endorsement of commercial, industrial wind development along Vermont's ridgelines," he said.

"The governor is not enthusiastic about developing acres and acres of Vermont's most beautiful ridgelines with industrial wind turbines and the attendant clear-cutting of transmission swaths required to move the power from the top of the mountain to transfer stations," Gibbs said Thursday.

It is reasonable and responsible for Vermont to pursue renewable energy, including small, "Vermont-scale" wind projects that don't desecrate the state's environment. The concern is that our ridgelines will become high-elevation utility plants with 300- and 400-foot tall turbines.

Perhaps the governor should designate special days of "wind energy month" for each of the mountains that is being prospected by wind developers to show Vermonters what is being proposed for ridgelines from the Northeast Kingdom to the Green Mountain National Forest.

He might also spend some time with the people who would be most affected by big wind, particularly in the remote Northeast Kingdom where residents are wondering how many ridgelines will be sacrificed.

If the governor visited the town of Sheffield, for instance, he would see protest signs and petitions against a proposal by UPC Wind Management, LLC to build about 24 wind towers on Hardscrabble Mountain and nearby ridges. The signs say, "Save our ridgeline; learn the facts;" the petitions have been signed by more than half the town's taxpayers, according to the newly formed group called Ridge Protectors.

For these people, "wind energy month" is a time to issue an alert about what industrial wind turbines on ridgelines would mean to this state. They're on the front lines, in one of the most beautiful and wild areas of Vermont. They deserve to be heard.


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SEP 30 2005
http://www.windaction.org/posts/287-wind-energy-month-what-does-that-mean
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